Hinduism,Cosmos ,Sanatan Dharma.Ancient Hinduism science.
The Concept Of Infinity In Sanatan Dharma :
God is infinite. But let us have a clear understanding of the meaning of this word infinite ; and use it in its proper sense.
That which is not limited by time and space and not subject to the law of causation, which is above time, space, and beyond all laws is infinite.
God is not limited by time or space, neither has He any cause. He is absolute. The infinite again must be one, otherwise it is finite. If there be any other thing beside that infinite then it is no longer infinite; it is limited by that object, consequently it has become finite. Thus if we admit that God is infinite, we deny the existence of any other thing besides God; other wise He would be limited by that thing, and be subject to time, space and the law of causation.
If we say that matter exists separate from and outside of God, we have made Him limited by matter, we have made Him finite and perishable.
If we think of ourselves as separate from God, as independent of His Being, then in our thought we have denied His illimitable nature. There is for the same reason, not a single particle of matter in the universe that can exist independent of God s existence or outside of God.
If He is infinite and one, our bodies and every thing of the universe from the minutest atom to the largest planetary system, from the lowest animalcule to the highest Being, exists in and through that Infinite Existence.
This may be startling to many, but the fact cannot be denied. If we wish to be logical, if the word infinite conveys any meaning at all, we cannot avoid the logical conclusion which must inevitably follow. If, on the contrary, we use the word infinite meaning something finite, how foolish and illogical shall we be !
The conclusion is this :
If God is infinite and one, then mind and matter, subject and object, creator and creation, and all relative dual existences are within that Being, and not outside of it. The whole universe is in God and God is in it; it is inseparable from God. I am in Him and He is in me; each one of us is inseparable from His being; if one atom of my body exists, that existence cannot be separated from His existence.
Now we know that the universal Soul is infinite. How can infinity have parts ? How can it be broken up, divided ?
It may be very poetic to say that I am a spark of the Infinite, but it is absurd to the thinking mind. What is meant by dividing Infinity ? Is it something material that you can part or separate it into pieces ? Infinite can never be divided. If that were possible, it would be no more Infinite. Again, there can be no two infinites. If there be two infinites, how would you demarcate their respective spheres ?
(Objection) : Why ? Space and Time are two infinite entities.
(Reply) : Space is infinite, but it passes our understanding how time can be infinite. Einstein’s definition of Time is a gap between two sequential events in space, observed by an observer who does not change with time. Two simultaneous events define space and two sequential events define time.
Vedanta defines time more subjectively, since ‘subject’ is included in the perception of time too. Time is the sequence of two experiences by the same experiencer who does not change with the experience. Each event-observation is counted as one experience. By bringing the experiencer and the mind associated with it to observe and record the experience, time is reduced to a concept in the mind.
Time exists in mind. What is time ?
Time, for instance , means “succession,” which is a condition of thought; and space means “coexistence.” The activities of mind, being either in succession or simultaneous, produce the ideas of time and space; they are conditions, or, as Kant calls them, forms of thought. One thought following another gives us a conception of intervals which we call time. Time means succession in thought. When one thought rises after another, the interval between them is what we call Time, so it is subject to mental activity.
When two ideas rise simultaneously, that which separates them is what we call space. Thus, that which exists between the idea ” me ” and the idea ” sun ” we classify as space ; yet it is purely a mental concept, having no existence outside the mind; for who knows any concrete thing designated space ? Hence, since these ideas of time and space are merely conditions of thought, they must be subject to change, because our thought is continually changing.
Hence perception of time depends on the mind too. When there is no mind, or to put it more accurately when there are no thoughts, there is no time either. This is what we experience in the deep-sleep state, where sleep is considered as only one experience and not two. Hence there is no time or space in the deep-sleep state. They are valid as long as thoughts are there. The paradox of time arises strangely with the notions in the mind.
Anything that is in space has form. Space itself has form. Either you are in space, or space is in you. The soul is beyond all space. Space is in the soul, not the soul in space. Form is confined to time and space and is bound by the law of causation. All time is in us, we are not in time. As the soul is not in time and space, all time and space are within the soul. The soul is therefore omnipresent.
पूर्णमदः पूर्णमिदं पूर्णात्पुर्णमुदच्यते
पूर्णश्य पूर्णमादाय पूर्णमेवावशिष्यते ॥
(Brihadaranyak Upanishad 5.1.1)
This passage occurs in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad. We recite it, chant it every day, but mostly we do not think about what it means when we chant it; it goes as a routine. Purna is fullness. The Upanishad says,
“Purnam adah: that origin of all things is full; purnam idam: this entire creation that has come from that origin of all things is also full; purnat purnam udachyate: from that Full this Full has come; purnasya purnam adaya: having taken away this Full from that Full; purnam evavasisyate: the Full still remains unaffected.”
If we take something from something, the source is supposed to be diminished in its content to the extent of that which has been taken away from it. This is common arithmetic. If we take something from something, the quantum of content in the original reservoir is lessened. If the world has come from God, some part of God must have gone to constitute this world and, to that extent, God must be less. Is it so ?
The Upanishad says it is not so. If we take away infinite from infinite, the Infinite is not reduced in any way, because one cannot take away anything from the Infinite. Therefore, if this so-called infinite of creation is taken to have emanated from that supreme Fullness of Infinity, it need not follow that there is some diminution of content in the original Fullness. After the emanation of this full universe from the full Origin, the Fullness still continues to be as it was, undiminished.
This is beyond our calculative method. We have never heard such a thing happening anywhere – that we carry away something and yet the source of that thing is as it is, without getting diminished. The reason is the character of Infinity itself. If some part of this finite is taken away, naturally it suffers a loss. If a limb of the body is taken away, to that extent the body has lost a part of itself. But you cannot take away a part of the soul.
Here is the difference. You may take a part of your body, but a part of the soul cannot be removed, because the soul is not a substance. Therefore, it is not a finite thing. Therefore, it is not in any particular place. Therefore, something cannot be taken away from it.
As we have our own soul, God is the Soul of the universe. This Soul is unlimited in its nature.The infinite character of God Almighty explains the reason why anything emanating from this infinite God cannot affect the infinite God. In fact, you cannot take away anything at all from the Infinite.
The infinitude of God is not diminished in any way when the infinite universe proceeds, as it were, from God. Actually, nothing proceeds from God. Having done all things, He has done nothing. The idea of proceeding arises only on account of the cause-and-effect relationship that has entered into our minds.
Unless there is space and time, there cannot be cause and effect. Space and time are effects of creation and, therefore, cause and effect, having come after the manifestation of space and time, cannot affect Infinity, which is God.
1. First, would arise the concept of space, here vs. there, me taking up space over here, you taking up space over there.
2. Next would be time, if something is here and not there it has to get from here to there and can’t be in both places at once, therefore, it takes time to travel from one place to another.
3. Finally causation, in space and time one thing seems to be the cause of another. In the relative sense all this is real. In the absolute sense none of it is real.
So, you cannot apply the principle of cause and effect to God Himself. Therefore, creation is not an effect coming from God as a cause. Even the word ’cause’ is not a proper term that may be applied to God. He is a causeless cause, no doubt, but He also is not a cause at all.
The Infinite is spaceless and timeless; therefore, it is neither a cause nor an effect. Hence, when the full universe comes from the full Almighty, nothing has happened. It may look as if God has not created the universe at all, if we go deep into it.
All the faults that we generally find with God for having created a bad world – ugliness, evil and sin – will be ruled out in one second if we realise that perhaps He has created nothing. He is exactly in the same glory that He was prior to that action that we are imputing to Him as creation. Having created, He is full. This universe also appears to be full for us in a relative sense. God is Absolute Fullness and the universe is relative fullness.